I recently had a conversation with some acquaintances about my personal preference for not giving/receiving hugs. For the most part, the conversation was not serious, although rooted in reality for me and I think it is for others as well. Some of us just don’t particularly like to give hugs except to close family and friends. I have to feel close to someone, have a relationship with them and also trust them to be able to give/receive regular hugs. However, one person made a comment that stuck with me and got me thinking…. So, I’m going to share some of my thoughts and opinions on the matter.
Today’s society seems to fail acknowledge that there is evil in the world. We want all the problems fixed or to just go away and we think we are safe in our own little bubble. But we are not. I have been VERY uncomfortable in an environment where one might assume you could feel safe; I did not feel safe at all. In fact, I KNEW I had been touched inappropriately by someone NOT my husband. I felt very violated and shaken by the whole incident. It was scary. It was definitely a power play on the part of this other person, a man, and it shook me up. It still gives me some anxiety when I think about it now as I'm writing this blog post. When I took it to someone in authority (A man) I was brushed off. Excuses were made for this person. Predators are everywhere, even in so called “safe and non threatening” places. I don’t for one second doubt that those type of people will plant themselves in small groups, churches, home school groups and other social gatherings. They may be hunting or they may actually be seeking help, but until they come to themselves and are held accountable for their actions they can be dangerous to others. Men, you are especially guilty of dismissing the claims of your wives, daughters, sisters and female friends when they tell you a man was inappropriate with them and made them uncomfortable. STOP doing that. Women have been given an extra sense that you men don’t have. It’s not mind reading but we can absolutely sense when someone we meet is a person to keep at arm’s length, or further. I purposely keep some people out of my private life and that of my children because of the potential emotional harm they could do. Women live in a society where we can be targeted simply because of our physical weaknesses and because of that, we are “programmed” to pick up on “bad vibes” coming from others, even other women. To take it one step further, if you are married and your wife tells you to stay away from a particular woman—-DO IT. It means she’s bad news, has ulterior motives or SOMETHING that you need to stay away from—period.
So, how does this bring me to hugging? Hugs seems innocent enough, right? Well, yes and no. When I see my 10 year old daughter hug her friends, it’s very innocent, heartwarming and special. However, if I see an adult try to make my 10 year old daughter hug them—-well that’s a different story. Especially if it’s a male. But it really goes for anyone that they don’t feel comfortable with or are hesitant to let into their personal space. A hug does that, it let’s someone you may not feel that close to into your personal space, or bubble, and that can be VERY uncomfortable for people who are more introverted, those who have trust issues or who may have trauma in their past that gives them valid reason to keep physical touch to a minimum—or forego it all together.
I’m going to bet that I’d get a lot of agreement on not making kids hug people they don’t feel comfortable with or don’t know very well. I think a lot of people would agree that with all the child predators out there it’s important to teach children that it’s OK to say no to an adult who wants to touch you when you don’t want them to, right?
So, why are we different with adults? Seems like a double standard to me. A child has the right to protect their personal space but a grown woman does not?? And I make this subject mostly about women because we are often the ones basically being forced, or guilted, into giving/receiving unwanted hugs. Women seem to want to hug all the time and I’m not comfortable with it at all and recently the comment that was made to me brought up some stuff for me and while I don’t know the intention behind the comment, I don’t feel it was appropriate or necessary. Why would I be leery of hugging another woman? Well, that's complicated. Trust issues play a part, but really it is mostly the fact that they aren't my close friend. I don't have a relationship with them.
I’m not a big hugger. That probably won’t change in my life time. I have my reasons, that I won’t share, but I’ve never been a big hugger so it is partly because that’s just how I am. (My kids get regular, daily hugs from me. Just wanted to be sure and clarify that before someone accuses me of not hugging my kids) But I don’t need to justify my aversion to hugging everyone else to anyone and neither does anyone else. I am not cold hearted, unloving, unkind or unwelcoming just because I don’t hug everyone I know or meet. On the contrary, I recently had someone I had only met once before, briefly, stop by my home to pick something up and she told me later that as soon as I opened the door of my home she could FEEL the love coming from me. Guess what, I did’t hug her as soon as she walked in my house. I have online friends I have never met in person who would describe me as a loving person and as knowing I care about them too. Hugs don’t equal love.
To close, be mindful of others and don’t shove your agenda, or affection, on them just because that’s what YOU think it appropriate. You don’t know their story or where they are coming from for starters, but furthermore, you also don’t know their heart. Only God does.
Maybe send a virtual hug instead.
One of the main issues that people seem to have with eating healthier is planning ahead and knowing how to do it. My clients, and friends, genuinely want to stick with a plan but life can throw us curve balls and we find ourselves in the drive thru. Meal prepping can really go a long way to prevent that from happening plus take a lot of stress out of meal time too! In this post, I hope to give you some tips that will help you get started and enable you to stick to your plan to eat more whole foods and be a good steward of your body! Let's get started!
#1 First off, you are going to need containers before you prep a single thing! You have to have something to put all that food in once you are done chopping, cutting and cooking. BPA plastic, or glass, is best. It should be airtight, freezer and dishwasher safe, have dividers if needed, clear so you can see what's in them, all the same size so they are stackable and lastly reusable!
#2 Next, pick a day to do your meal prep. It doesn't have to be the same day of the week every week, although Sunday seems to be a popular day. Second to that is Wednesdays. It really doesn't matter what day you choose, just make sure to set aside 2-4 hours to do your prep. You can shorten this time by having your spouse, a friend or family chip in and help! It can be fun and inspirational to others! Plus they will see how easy it really is and how worth it is too! The time to do this will vary quite a bit depending on the size of your family.
#3 Now, you need to take stock of what you have in your freezer, pantry/cabinets and fridge. make a list of dry goods, canned goods, meats, sauces, etc.. so you don't buy more unless it's needed. Most of us have things in our kitchen that we haven't used, either because they have been forgotten or we don't know how. This is a good time to google recipes using something you might have on hand and try a new recipe! Just keep it simple for your first time around--you'll be a pro in no time ready for more complicated recipes!
#4 You are now ready to pick the meals you want to make. Here is my sincere suggestion to you: Start with 3 meals and make them as simple as possible. This lessens stress, frustration and time. Once you get the hang of it, which happens pretty quickly, then you can do more meals and plan for an entire week or more! For now, just get your feet wet!
#5 Be a multi-tasker while you prep! You can have more than one thing in your oven cooking, something in the crock pot, the Instant Pot and on the stove. This will really cut down on time, but it's also another reason to keep it SIMPLE the first time you are doing meal prep.
#6 Which brings me to a couple of appliance that I could not do without in my kitchen when it comes to prepping; My CrockPot and my Instant Pot(I actually have TWO of these!). These are life savers, time savers and flavor givers. Plus, I can get them out once a week, cook what I need to and put them away and be done with them until another time. I hate getting things in and out of the cabinets day in and day out, don't you????
#7 Produce Tip: Wash and cut up ahead of time. Fresh, cut up veggies can quickly be added to salads, omelets, in wraps and other dishes. Pre-cut fruit can be used in yogurt, cereal, added to smoothies, made into fruit salad and more. ***You will find yourself eating more fresh veggies and fruit because it's ready and available to you!
#8 Be sure your meals have a healthy protein (and make sure it's from a clean source!) plenty of veggies and low glycemic carbs. Your plate should really be about half veggies and the other half divided between your protein and carb.
#9 Write down ideas and recipes you come across so you have somewhere to begin each time you meal plan. Make note of favorites and those that are easy for you to prep ahead of time. Write down what you needed to do differently if something didn't work out the week before.
#10 Have grace for yourself! This is a learning process but once you get it down, it makes life much easier AND you will find yourself enjoying meal time even more!
Happy Prepping! it is really worth the effort to do this, I promise! The weeks I focus and get this done are weeks I have more time to enjoy my family because I'm not in the kitchen every evening for hours. I make a rather large mess ONCE and then the rest of the week there is less to clean up leaving more time for what's important. Prepping can be quality family time and teach kids invaluable lessons on health and nutrition too!
Please, leave any comments, your own tips or questions below!